What is Major Depression?
Major depression, also known as clinical depression, is a disorder that is characterized by an overwhelming sense of despair and hopelessness. These feelings ultimately change how one feels and looks at life.
A person suffering from major depression will find it difficult to sleep, work, socialize, study, and participate in a typical day to day activities. Major depression can happen once in a person’s lifetime or occur several.
While clinical depression can occur from one generation to the next, it also occurs to people without a family history of the disorder.
Major Depression Symptoms
Every feeling of sadness or hopelessness does not indicate major depression
For this to be a concern, symptoms should be present daily for two weeks, throughout the day, with the most intensity felt in the morning.
The more common symptoms include loss of interest in relationships and day to day activities.
Other symptoms of major depression include;
- Anxiety and depression usually occur together.
- Anxiety can be marked by feelings of tension or restlessness, nervousness, twitching of muscles, and trembling.
- Other things like dread, panic, rapid breathing, an elevated heart rate, and a lack of concentration can point to anxiety.
Change in weight and appetite
Fluctuation in weight and appetite can occur to those suffering from major depression. The change may be experienced differently for every individual. One individual may lose their appetite leading to a loss in weight, while the other individual may experience an increase in appetite, therefore, gaining weight.
It is important to note that weight and appetite changes have to be unintentional to qualify as a symptom.
Lack of Interest
- Major depression takes away the pleasure one usually gets from doing the things that they enjoy doing or love.
- Losing interest in the things one yearned for, such as socializing, family, hobbies, sports, and the like, is a marker that one would be suffering from major depression.
- A loss of interest in sex is also a symptom of major depression.
- Another symptom is overwhelming fatigue and a lack of energy.
- Note that this fatigue is different from tiredness. You can feel tired after a long day at work or at the gym. This tends to go away after a good night’s sleep or a few hours of rest.
- The fatigue experienced when suffering from major depression does not result from physical activity and does not go away after one rests or gets good quality sleep.
This might be alcohol and substance abuse, volatility and irritability, violence, careless driving, and other behaviors that harm the person or those around them.
Clinical depression might make someone suicidal, which explains some of the reckless behavior a patient might indulge in.
Escapist behaviors like spending more time on sports or at work are also indicative of a problem.
This can be seen through a lack of concentration, short and long term memory loss, and even the inability to make seemingly simple decisions.
Being cautious in decision making is one thing, but being completely unable to make day to day life choices might indicate something more serious.
Most of these symptoms are also present in other mental disorders. The best thing to do if you notice yourself or a loved one going through them is to see a doctor.
The first step to getting treatment is getting a proper diagnosis.